Excerpt from Every Man A Tiger by Tom Clancy, General Chuck Horner, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Every Man A Tiger

by Tom Clancy, General Chuck Horner

Every Man A Tiger
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback:
    May 2000, 576 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Prologue: 3 August 1990

On Friday morning of the August week in 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait, Lieutenant General Chuck Horner was at 27,000 feet, cruising at .9 Mach (540 knots), and nearing the North Carolina coast. He was headed out to sea in the Lady Ashley, a recent-model Block 25 F-16C, tail number 216, that had been named after the daughter of his crew chief, Technical Sergeant José Santos. Horner's aide, Lieutenant Colonel Jim Hartinger, Jr., known as "Little Grr," was on Horner's left side, a mile out, slightly high. Horner and Hartinger were en route to a mock combat with a pair of F-15Cs out of the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) at Langley Air Force Base in Tidewater Hampton, Virginia: a winner-take-all contest that would match wits and flying skills. After that, they were all scheduled to form up and return to Langley AFB as a flight of four aircraft.

It was a bright, clear day-a good day to be in the air. Horner felt the joy he always did when flying thousands of feet above the earth in a fast and nimble aircraft, an emotion that few others ever had the opportunity to experience. Part of it was the feeling of unity with his aircraft - the fighter was like an extension of his mind and body. The brain commanded and the aircraft responded, with no other conscious motions. In an air battle, a pilot had no time for unnecessary thoughts. He evaluated angle, range, and closure with his target, while keeping track of all the fast, nimble aircraft that were trying to drive him in flames out of the sky. He thought and the jet reacted.

It was Hartinger's turn to lead, to call how he and Horner would fly from takeoff to landing, and he had set up a two-versus-two air combat tactics mission - what fighter pilots call a 2v2 ACT - with the F-15s. Horner was looking forward to it. At Langley, he was scheduled to attend an aircraft accident briefing with his Air Force boss, General Bob Russ, commanding general of the Tactical Air Command. Accident briefings were never pleasant experiences, even when the accidents were proven to be unavoidable, so Horner was happy for the chance to "turn and burn" with the guys from Langley before he hit the painful part of the day.

His policy was to try to maintain his combat skills whenever he flew his F-16. Even when traveling to an administrative meeting such as the one at Langley, he liked to make the trip worthwhile. It was a good way to stay up-to-date with the younger - often much younger - pilots he might someday lead into real battle.

He was in his fifties, but he wasn't too old to go up against an enemy. He could hold his own with most U.S. fliers; and those fliers were better than 95 percent of anyone they might meet. What he'd lost in eyesight and physical stamina, he made up for with experience and brains. Experience atrophied with disuse, however, and he needed to know firsthand not only that his combat skills were current and credible, but also what the younger fighter jocks were doing, what they were practicing - their aerial, radio, and shooting discipline and tactics.

Fighter pilots are members of a very tiny, elite tribe, who also happen to be the most arrogant group on earth. Flying high-performance jets is a consummate art, and to be merely somewhere near the top of the food chain doesn't begin to make it. They want to be the top. If there's nobody around you left to beat, there's still yourself. That means if a commander does not remain credible, a pilot may be reluctant to obey his lead. In war, failure to obey in the strictest manner can get people killed. So Horner felt he owed the people he commanded the duty to remain up-to-date in the use of his equipment, in tactics, and in understanding the stresses they faced.

Since April 1987, Chuck Horner had been commander of Ninth Air Force, which supervised the Air Force's Active and Reserve Fighter Units east of the Mississippi River. In that position, he also served as the air component commander for the Central Command, the United States military organization responsible for national security interests in the Middle East and parts of East Africa (except for Israel, Syria, and Lebanon). In 1990, Central Command was led by Army General H. Norman Schwarzkopf. It was Horner's job as CENTAF Commander to work with his foreign counterparts in a region that stretched from Egypt to Pakistan and to plan military operations - air campaigns that might be needed should a crisis arise that endangered the interests of the United States. It was also his job to make sure that U.S. air units were combat-ready, and that the logistics were in place to support them during a rapid deployment in peacetime or war. And finally, it was his job to command air assets that had been deployed to the region-during the recent Iran-Iraq war, for instance, USAF E-3A AWACS radar aircraft had kept watch over Saudi Arabia in order to prevent the local conflict from spilling over the border. When Horner wasn't visiting his assigned bases in the United States, he was visiting the nations in the CENTCOM area of responsibility.

Reprinted from EVERY MAN A TIGER by Tom Clancy with General Chuck Horner (RET.) by permission of G. P. Putnam & Sons, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright May 1999 by C. P. Commanders, Inc

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Cruel Beautiful World
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A fast moving page-turner about the naiveté of youth and the malignity of power.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    North of Crazy
    by Neltje

    The remarkable life of a woman who carves her own singular path.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.